Microsoft To Acquire Bethesda Studios And Valuable Game IP Like DOOM, Fallout, And Elder Scrolls

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Microsoft has just announced a blockbuster deal in the gaming world by announcing its intent to purchase ZeniMax Media. If the ZeniMax name doesn’t sound familiar to you, maybe this one will: Bethesda. That’s right, we’re talking about the development studio behind such popular game franchises as DOOM, Fallout, The Elder Scrolls and many more.

This purchase just solidifies Microsoft’s intent to bring more high-quality game development under its corporate umbrella, and perhaps develop more exclusives for the Xbox family of consoles. According to Microsoft, it will pay a total of $7.5 billion in cash for ZeniMax Media. In addition to Bethesda Softworks/Bethesda Game Studios, Microsoft also gains ownership of id Software, Arkane, MachineGames, and Tango Gameworks (among others).

“Just as they took the bold first steps to bring The Elder Scrolls franchise to the original Xbox, Bethesda were early supporters of Xbox Game Pass, bringing their games to new audiences across devices and have been actively investing in new gaming technology like cloud streaming of games,” said Xbox chief Phil Spencer.

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“We will be adding Bethesda’s iconic franchises to Xbox Game Pass for console and PC. One of the things that has me most excited is seeing the roadmap with Bethesda’s future games, some announced and many unannounced, to Xbox console and PC including Starfield, the highly anticipated, new space epic currently in development by Bethesda Game Studios.”

At this time, we’d assume that Bethesda’s near-term plans for game development and releases will remain virtually unchanged. However, things could get a bit trickier long-term, as Microsoft is in a cutthroat battle with Sony in the console race. With both the Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation 5 launching in the coming months, it’s a near certainty that Microsoft will want to leverage Bethesda’s deep gaming portfolio for future exclusives. 

“This is a thrilling day for this company, our employees, and our fans. We have enjoyed a close partnership with Microsoft for decades, and this deal is a natural progression of those years working together,” said ZeniMax Media Chairman and CEO Robert A. Altman. “The big winners today are our fans. We are continuing to develop our slate of AAA games, but now with Microsoft’s scale and entire Game Stack, our games can only get better.”

Microsoft’s Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S will go up for preorder tomorrow, September 22nd, and they will officially launch on November 10th.